Davey Barry jumped into contention at the Irish PGA Championship in Bunclody, a second round 68 saw him move 15 places on the leaderboard into a tie for third place. Barry went out in a level par 37 after two birdies and two bogies. A birdie on the 10th started his back nine nicely, and he went on the have three more to sign for a four under par 68. Added to his opening 74, he’s now on two under, five shots off the lead. And the change in form had a lot to do with a new putter according to the Douglas GC Professional. “I spent an hour on the putting green last night with a new putter, and it worked pretty well. I also hit 16 greens so that also helped” said a delighted Davey. “I played well yesterday but the putting was off. Today was much better though.” Barry’s 68 was one of only three scores in the 60’s.
Cian McNamara is in 20th place with Padraig Dooley and Jack Howard also making the cut for the final round. Damien McGrane made light of the blustery conditions, storming home in five under for his last five holes to grab control of the 109th Irish PGA Championship. After reaching the turn in a pedestrian one over par 38, the Co. Carlow GC professional suddenly flipped the switch and picked up six birdies on the back nine, including five in a row from the 14th. And like Barry,he cited an improved putting performance. “I played lovely yesterday and my putting was weak. I played lovely again today, the back nine came good for me and I had a really strong finish in tough conditions,” said Damien who opened his campaign with a two-under-par round of 70.
Heading into tomorrow’s final round, the 2016 Irish PGA champion has a valuable four-shot cushion over the 2017 Irish PGA champion Tim Rice (Limerick GC). Damien added; “My whole career I watched the legends of Irish golf play and compete. As a younger man, my ambition was to one day win the Irish Championship which I did at Moyvalley two years ago which was fantastic. I like the course here at Bunclody, it’s in great condition, so I’m looking forward to whatever tomorrow brings.”
Overnight leader, Steven Quinlan (SQ Golf) posted a two-over-par round of 74 to drop into a share of third alongside Jimmy Bolger (Kilkenny GC) and David Barry (Douglas GC) on two under par.
The cut fell at +12 with 52 players making it through to the final round today. The first group will tee off at 8am with McGrane, Rice and Jimmy Bolger getting started at 11.10am.
109th Irish PGA Championship
Sponsored by TLC Nursing Homes
at Bunclody Golf and Fishing Club (Par 72)
1 Damien McGrane (Carlow GC) 70 67 -7
2 Tim Rice (Limerick GC) 69 72 -3
T3 Jimmy Bolger (Kilkenny GC) 69 73 -2
T3 David Barry (Douglas GC) 74 68 -2
T3 Steven Quinlan (SQ Golf) 68 74 -2
T6 Brian McElhinney (Evolve Golf Coaching) 70 73 -1
T6 Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort) 71 72 -1
T6 Nicholas Grant (Knock Golf Club) 71 72 -1
T9 David Higgins (Waterville Golf Links) 73 71 Lvl
T9 Colm Moriarty (Glasson Hotel & GC) 70 74 Lvl